MIVA AUSTRIA

MIVA Austria is a relief organisation of the Catholic Church. The name arises from “Missionary Vehicle Association”. This long term is no longer used nowadays. Since its foundation MIVA has served the Catholic mission and supports the fight against poverty and underdevelopment. Mission means: work for the gospel – the bright message, which means the whole human being. In Europe it is impossible to imagine a priest or a doctor without a vehicle – all the more so in sparsely populated areas in Africa or Latin America in which parishes are often as large as Austrian provinces. In these areas it has to be the right vehicles – marsh in rainy season, dust in the dry season, deep pot holes, fords through the river, high grass in the savannah or low hanging branches on the jungle paths all create a big challenge. For every project MIVA selects the most suitable vehicle. It can also be a bicycle or a motorbike, a boat, a tractor, a lorry or also a small aeroplane. Even mules, oxen and elephants are financed by MIVA. MIVA does not restrict its aid to one region on Earth. Latin America, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South and South East Europe: wherever project partners make a request for a means of transportation which is under the responsibility of MIVA – the request is checked and assisted if the financial resources of MIVA allow it. As a result there is a big network of solidarity and in many cases also friendship from Stadl-Paura to partners in the whole world.

It all began with the death of a missionary. The German priest Otto Furhmann OMI died as a missionary in the north of Namibia after falling ill with tropical fever. He could have survived but the nearest hospital was several day marches away. A friend of Fuhrmann who was known as “Flying Priest” all over Germany and further afield – the missionary of the oblates Paul Schulte – decided as a result of this incident to provide the missionaries with vehicles and also with a means of communication to increase their mobility and further to raise their chances of survival. In 1927 he founded the Missionary Vehicle Association. The idea of MIVA was born: technical support for mission and development, wheels of hope for ways out of misery.

In Austria there was a man who was very enthusiastic about Priest Schulte and his MIVA idea : already during the war Karl Kumpfmüller from Stadl-Paura started to distribute MIVA-advertising material and to inform people about the work of MIVA. As a result of his enthusiasm the Austrian bishops` conference decided on the foundation of the Austrian MIVA as a relief organisation of the Catholic Church. On 22nd October 1949 MIVA Austria was launched in the monastery of Lambach. Karl Kumpfmüller was its first and long lasting director.

12 bicycles for missionary use could be blessed at the foundation of MIVA. However the number of donations for the young relief organisation rose continuously from the beginning. MIVA director Karl Kumpfmüller encouraged the Catholic Children’s Movement to reinitiate the old tradition of the carol singers. In the first years MIVA received all the proceeds from the carol singing campaign and nowadays also receives a considerable sum out of its income. As soon as the carol singing campaign became independent and supported its own projects, Karl Kumpfmüller put his “penny idea” into effect. For each kilometre driven without an accident the drivers should give one penny for MIVA work. The Christophorus Campaign was born. Until today MIVA has financed more than 26.600 vehicles from this campaign.

With projects in over 60 countries MIVA is of course an internationally operating organisation. From Stadl-Paura MIVA is literally communicating with the whole world. The idea of MIVA has also become known internationally in the meantime. In many countries it has simply been picked up. For this reason MIVA is in a double sense international.

MIVA Germany was founded in 1927 and was converted into the “Diaspora MIVA” after the war. However at this time the MIVA idea had already crossed the borders. From Germany the MIVA Switzerland arose in 1932 and in 1935 the MIVA Netherlands. The colleagues of MIVA Netherlands initiated the MIVA USA which was founded in 1971. The Austrian MIVA was founded on 22nd October 1949. The following MIVA organisations were founded from Austria: Great Britain (1974), South Korea (1981), Slovenia (1987), Slovakia (1998), Poland (2000) and Australia (2002). Starting from MIVA MIVA Slovenia the MIVA Croatia (2012) and the MIVA Bosnia (2015) were founded. Consequently the international MIVA family comprises 13 national organisations at the moment.

MAG. (FH) CHRISTINE PARZER

MAG. (FH) CHRISTINE PARZER
Managing Director
+43 7245 / 28945-41
c.parzer@miva.at

BIRGIT GRUBER

BIRGIT GRUBER
Assistant of the Managing Director for public relations, administration of donations and support for donators; press contact

+43 7245 / 28945-44
b.gruber@miva.at

VERENA BAMMER

VERENA BAMMER
Educational work
+43 7245 / 28945-44 v.bammer@miva.at

MARIA NIEDERMAIR-AUER

MARIA NIEDERMAIR-AUER
Administration of donations
+43 7245 / 28945-45
m.niedermair-auer@miva.at

REGINA HEMETSBERGER

REGINA HEMETSBERGER
Project coordinator for Africa +43 7245 / 28945-43 r.hemetsberger@miva.at

ALEXANDRA SALMHOFER

ALEXANDRA SALMHOFER
Project coordinator for Latin America
+43 7245 / 28945-48
a.salmhofer@miva.at

ANGELIKA WALLNER

ANGELIKA WALLNER
Office Manager, Project coordinator for Asia, Oceania and Europe +43 7245 / 28945-40 a.wallner@miva.at

ANDREA EDER

ANDREA EDER
Accountant, administration of donations
+43 7245 / 28945-47
a.eder@miva.at

MICHAELA PENNINGER

MICHAELA PENNINGER
Housekeeping stuff